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Syrians boost Lebanon tourism sector

Occupancy rates in hotel and furnished apartments in Lebanon have surged after thousands of Syrians flocked to the country seeking refuge as the security situation further deteriorates in their homeland, The Daily Star has reported. The country's Hotel Owners Association, which keeps track of occupancy rates, confirmed areas in Mount Lebanon have seen around a 30% increase in occupancy rates. Occupancy at Beirut hotels has seen an increase of 15 to 20%. However, the higher occupancy does not reflect a revival of Lebanon's summer tourism season, according to the head of the association. "We are talking about people who are fleeing violence and whenever things return to normal or stabilize they will be heading home," said Pierre Achkar.